Concealed Carry for Women

I am going out on another limb here, but am going to say it anyway – men and women are different.  Men are bigger, on average stronger, wear different clothing, and even think differently about self defense.  For these reasons, women should look at concealed carry differently than men.

woman ccwSize and Strength

On average women are smaller than men.  Going along with that, it is simple physics that if a person is bigger they are generally stronger.  For this reason, women should think about smaller caliber weapons.  There are several reasons for this.

Smaller calibers weigh less.  A Desert Eagle is going to feel like a cinder block to a smaller woman, both from the size and weight factor.  If it is uncomfortable to carry, there is more chance she is going to “forget” it and leave it behind.  A compact .38 revolver will seem much less of a burden to a woman.

We have talked about the semi auto versus revolver issue before with women.  Many women do not have the hand or arm strength to rack an automatic.  You have to be practical and admit no matter how much practice on the range is going to overcome this.

Women Like to Look Good

Women like to look good. That isn’t a bad thing. What that means though is that women tend to wear more body and form revealing clothing than woman concealed carrymen.  Also the material of their clothing is generally lighter to reveal the curves.  This means a hip or shoulder holster is generally out of the question. The last thing you want when you conceal carry is to have the weapon outlined on your clothing so that everyone knows you are carrying.

A couple on the body options for women are ankle and bra holsters.  Ankle holsters can work, but need a very small weapon for most women and their clothing.  Bra holsters can work, depending on chest size and whether the woman can tolerate it or not.


A good recommendation is a weapon concealed in a purse.  Depending on the purse size she can carry all the way up to the Desert Eagle mentioned before. A good thing about purses is that women tend to take them with them everywhere they go outside of the house.  This comes into the psychology factors which I will talk about below.  When the purse comes home or she visits someone, the weapon should be secured so children and others don’t get their hands on it.

Women Think Differently

concealed pistol in purseI know I will get some comments on this.  On the average (notice I say on the average) men tend to see danger behind every rock. That is part of the genetic makeup.  That doesn’t mean that men are scared, only that they tend to prepare more.  A man will have no problem going to the safe, getting his pistol out and strapping it on for a trip down to the hardware store.  Many (not all) women might tell themselves that “it’s only a trip down to the supermarket” and leave the pistol at home. This might be exactly when they need it.

For this reason, a woman’s concealed carry has to be extremely easy to use.  That is why I like to recommend purses (if she tends to carry a purse.) If it isn’t a purse, the gun has to be small, light enough not to be a pain to carry.  If a purse doesn’t work, think about a pocket carry in a jacket with the cell phone and keys.  The trick is to make picking up the weapon as instinctive as taking along the car keys and cell phone.woman ccw

Remember whatever you carry and where you carry it, requires practice.  Practice entails all the way from drawing the weapon, acquiring the target and engaging it.

“A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44 Magnum.”

~Bill Jordan

Based on this post, what are you thinking about doing as far as CCW? Let us know in the comments.




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